I drove home slowly, and the idiot passing me didn't even have his headlights on. Is his faith that strong?
I turn down my own street and see the high school boy that walks every morning, and I always have to do a double-take because he looks just like Daniel. Is it Daniel? No, but it will be him in just a few short years, if I'm lucky -- if I'm blessed with the few months it takes for him to shoot up two more feet, or few years to go to college, a few more to marry the love of his life, and feel the incredible gift of fatherhood that teaches beyond anything else the love our Father has for us.
These young kids dying makes me think about the kind of parent I am. What am I teaching my boys as they grow? I'm teaching them to be another Peter Wang, who held a door open in the school for other children to escape. "Hold the door, boys. Let others go in first. Move over so a lady can pass, and then don't expect a thank you. It's what you should do." Give your lives for others, and say goodbye to your mother. I'm raising them to be everyday heroes. To do the things some don't. To do the things most won't. Mrs. Wang, are you proud in your grief??
A close friend of mine asked me if I talked to my sons yet about the tragedy. And I haven't. Because I don't know yet what I want to say. My first inclination is to say, Run and hide and don't make a sound. Find your own hiding place so that no one else can draw attention to you. But is that what I would do? No. I would run to the ones needing help. I would give my life to end the life of the possessed man taking all of the innocent lives. I would gather and protect like a shephard does his flock of sheep, protecting them from the wolf who seeks to devour them.
My mother warrior spirit, the bear in me, weeps in a chair at a computer desk in a safe neighborhood where a multitude of birds sing, and fat little squirrels chatter and play.
But we can add to it all that the teaching profession can be added to the list of dangerous occupations. The lives of a few good men have also been taken, when already we are in short supply, and I grieve for their families, their only consolation for living the rest of their lives without their strong lovers, steady husbands, larger than life fathers...is that they died heroes -- heroes in the example of our God, who is our hero, and did a whole lot more than hold open a door.
Our Father God that was with me in the most intimate embrace, that saw the evil surround the cross that was this school and these children and brave men and women, has also created a place for evil to dwell when all is said and done, where fear now belongs locked in a cage with no possible escape.
Since fear belongs there, good parents, mentors, and examples, we can make the heroes and the caretakers. We can raise and influence the walkers on the coals, and the spiritual trapeze artists that have overcome the fear of any kind of fall, the mothers that are the distractors so the others can escape, the leaders who act as human shields, the brave hearts that run headlong into the evil fire to save lives.
Valentine's Day lived during the tragedy because though evil tried to kill all the love, it could not. It never will.
Our fights are now, tiring fights that leave us breathless and worn, but they cannot leave us hopeless. We still have air in our lungs. We still live, and love, with an endless supply of rest and strength when we turn to the right One. And no matter how much fear tries to cover us in fog, we can still open our car doors and usher the little children outside to live, and breathe, and fight the good fight by simply doing the right things.
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
Our hope is that our flesh and our spirits will not always be one, that the flesh will decay, the nerves give one last spark, the eyes close, the heart stop beating, and the spirit lift upward ushered into heaven by Almighty God. Though He allows a physical death, He gifts lift to the spirit higher than the clouds, held down by no fog. So we can float.
And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”
Matthew 25:40"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
And so our hearts are for the children left standing.